Review

FRINGEWORLD 2018 | A Rhapsody In Red | 4 stars

By Laura Money

This FRINGEWORLD 2018, why not join The CoverGirls as they ask you to Be My Baby, because He’s So Fine as the Leader of the Pack. They’ll beg Please Mr Postman bring them a letter and might even end up Going To The Chapel. Peggy-Sue (Caitlin Beresford-Ord), Mary-Jane (Sharon Kiely) and Just-Betty (Clare Moore) are desperate and dateless in the 60s. This trio of divas call upon the greats – Diana, Tina, Shirley, Aretha – as they use the music of 60s girl groups to wittily create a tight and funny show.

Peggy-Sue is obsessed with finding a husband. It’s that simple. Beresford-Ord is hilarious as Peggy-Sue! She enters the stage reading a how to guide – how to snag a husband. Her facial expressions are so funny, her face is veritably elastic as she realises her fate may involve a lot of cat food and broken dreams. Standing in her housecoat and slippers, she launches into an infectious version of Lolipop and is joined by her best friends – and this is where the magic begins. The CoverGirls have such dynamic chemistry – they perfectly capture the fun and energy of the 60s but with a cheeky nod to some of the silliness. From those first claps of Lolipop to Peggy-Sue’s euphoria as she tells her besties about her new beau, Da Doo Ron Ron the party vibe is all encompassing.

Jukebox musicals aren’t new – the idea that you can tell a story through song is almost a given, yet A Rhapsody In Red takes the history of female empowerment and places it in the hands of three Aussie belters with some serious pipes! What the girl groups of the 60s achieved for women’s solidarity is often overlooked – people rarely seeing through the do-wops and shoop-shoops – but at the heart of the movement were girlfriends whose voices supported each other through the pain and heartache of navigating their love lives in a patriarchal society.

If Peggy-Sue is on a mission to get married, Mary-Jane is on a mission to steal as many boyfriends as she can! Kiely has a powerhouse voice – she lusts over Peggy-Sue’s boyfriend because He’s So Fine – eyes widening with determination to ‘make him mine.’ Just Betty is the creepy one – she is intelligent, and a feminist but she seems to have a penchant for violence – it is implied that her beau, Jimmy (The Leader of the Pack) may have been the victim of sabotage, and she sees red when her Johnny leaves with Judy at her party (It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want To) – culminating in a rather bloody conclusion.

After finding a man in the audience, Peggy-Sue is hilariously Going To The Chapel with her bridesmaids in awkward synchronisation. She settles in to married life as a housewife – and the songs reflect what was really implied by being a good wife in the sixties. From Lipstick On Your Collar to reminiscing – Remember (Walkin’ In The Sand) when it’s all over, the ladies turn on each other when they realise that playing with love is a dangerous game. The CoverGirls trace the movement from women pining over men, to true empowerment – the audience cheering on the welcome change in dynamic with powerful songs like Think, These Boots Are Made For Walking and of course, the ever-popular Respect. Peggy-Sue, Mary-Jane and Just Betty really shine as they¬†SHOUT! out these tunes and let their hair down.

So, if you love the revolutionary music of 60s girl groups, you’ll love tapping along and kicking your heels up with The CoverGirls in A Rhapsody In Red. It’s all your old favourites – you won’t be able to resist singing along!

WHEN: 27 – 31 January 2018 | 8:45pm

WHERE: Connections Nightclub | Northbridge | PERTH

INFO: Tickets $27 – $30 | Duration 90 mins | WA artists | CABARET

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/a-rhapsody-in-red-fw2018

The_CoverGirls

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